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The extensive disruption to and digital transformation of travel administration across borders largely due to COVID-19 mean that digital vaccine passports are being developed to resume international travel and kick-start the global economy. Currently, a wide range of actors are using a variety of different approaches and technologies to develop such a system. This paper considers the techno-ethical issues raised by the digital nature of vaccine passports and the application of leading-edge technologies such as blockchain in developing and deploying them. We briefly analyse four of the most advanced systems – IBM’s Digital Health Passport “Common Pass,” the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass, the Linux Foundation Public Health’s COVID-19 Credentials Initiative and the Vaccination Credential Initiative (Microsoft and Oracle) – and then consider the approach being taken for the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Each of these raises a range of issues, particularly relating to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the need for standards and due diligence in the application of innovative technologies (eg blockchain) that will directly challenge policymakers when attempting to regulate within the network of networks.
Focused ion beam is a powerful method for cross-sectional transmission electron microscope sample preparation due to being site specific and not limited to certain materials. It has, however, been difficult to apply to many nanostructured materials as they are prone to damage due to extending from the surface. Here we show methods for focused ion beam sample preparation for transmission electron microscopy analysis of such materials, demonstrated on GaAs–GaInP core shell nanowires. We use polymer resin as support and protection and are able to produce cross-sections both perpendicular to and parallel with the substrate surface with minimal damage. Consequently, nanowires grown perpendicular to the substrates could be imaged both in plan and side view, including the nanowire–substrate interface in the latter case. Using the methods presented here we could analyze the faceting and homogeneity of hundreds of adjacent nanowires in a single lamella.
The twin interface structure in twinning superlattice InP nanowires with zincblende structure has been investigated using electron exit wavefunction restoration from focal series images recorded on an aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope. By comparing the exit wavefunction phase with simulations from model structures, it was possible to determine the twin structure to be the ortho type with preserved In-P bonding order across the interface. The bending of the thin nanowires away from the intended ⟨110⟩ axis could be estimated locally from the calculated diffraction pattern, and this parameter was successfully taken into account in the simulations.
The aim of the present study was to identify functional antisense
oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) against the rat glutathione
S-transferase Mu (GSTM) isoforms, GSTM1 and GSTM2.
These antisense ODNs would enable the study of the physiological
consequences of GSTM deficiency. Because it has been suggested
that the effectiveness of antisense ODNs is dependent on the
secondary mRNA structures of their target sites, we made mRNA
secondary structure predictions with two software packages,
Mfold and STAR. The two programs produced only marginally similar
structures, which can probably be attributed to differences
in the algorithms used. The effectiveness of a set of 18 antisense
ODNs was evaluated with a cell-free transcription/translation
assay, and their activity was correlated with the predicted
secondary RNA structures. Four phosphodiester ODNs specific
for GSTM1, two ODNs specific for GSTM2, and four ODNs targeted
at both GSTM isoforms were found to be potent, sequence-specific,
and RNase H-dependent inhibitors of protein expression. The
IC50 value of the most potent ODN was approximately
100 nM. Antisense ODNs targeted against regions that were predicted
by STAR to be predominantly single stranded were more potent
than antisense ODNs against double-stranded regions. Such a
correlation was not found for the Mfold prediction. Our data
suggest that simulation of the local folding of RNA facilitates
the discovery of potent antisense sequences. In conclusion,
we selected several promising antisense sequences, which, when
synthesized as biologically stable oligonucleotides, can be
applied for study of the physiological impact of reduced GSTM
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